Burnout Syndrome – what it is and how we can prevent it

Burnout Syndrome – what it is and how we can prevent it

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The “burnout syndrome” seems to be getting more and more media attention lately, with more and more people missing work due to it. So what does it imply to be suffering from a “burnout syndrome”?

According to an article of the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the term was coined in the 1970s by Herbert Freudenberger, an American psychologist. He described it as a “consequence of severe stress and high ideals experienced by people working in ‘helping professions'”, such as doctors or nurses. It gives you a feeling of exhaustion and inability to cope.

Nowadays however, the term has become popular and can apply to virtually anyone undergoing too much stress. Still, there is no actual definition of the term. Some experts believe that other symptoms may be hiding behind it – such as depression or anxiety.

Some of the possible causes behind this syndrome are feeling overworked or under-challenged, having conflicts with colleagues, or being under time pressure. But is the feeling of exhaustion following these causes just a normal reaction to stress, or is it more?

The symptoms of “burnout syndrome” can be in the range of emotional exhaustion, alienation from (job-related) activities, and reduced performance.

It is important for people who feel that they are approaching the path of the “burnout syndrome” to try to take a few steps towards preventing it:

  • Start your day with a relaxing ritual: meditating, writing in a journal, reading, or doing stretches
  • Eat healthy, exercise, and adjust your sleeping schedule
  • Don’t overwork yourself: learn it is ok to say “no” to some things
  • Take daily breaks from technology
  • Pay more attention to your creative side, it is a powerful antidote to burnout: start a new fun project, try a new hobby
  • Learn stress-management: it can help you regain your balance
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Caroline Parker has a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from the University of Bucharest. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in the same field. She specializes in gender issues, ethnic minorities, and has a passion for literature, but she loves to find out more about any subject she comes across. When she is not busy with her studies, she is attending conferences, seeing plays which deal with contemporary issues in society, traveling, taking photos for her Instagram account, and watching beauty related vlogs. She aims to become a published writer and to pursue a Ph.D. is the field of gender studies.